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Fountain Pen Review: Parker Jotter Originals


Introduction 

With the Parker Jotter Originals series, Parker have implemented a modern twist on a classic designs. Parker have combined the new Jotter silhouette and their bold contemporary colours with the classic original design and iconic Parker arrow clip. 

The Jotter Originals series come in a variety of colours, ranging from a 90's retro blue finish to a classic red. Each bold colour palette is intended to pay tribute to the iconic design from the 1990's. 

Specs

• Price: Usually around £9.99
• Weight: 18g
• Dimensions: 8.5 in. x 4.3 in. x .8 in.
• Nib size: Medium
• Detailing: Arrow clip, fountain pen shape, thin, cigar band
• Material: Plastic 
• Ink colour: Black and blue variants 
• Pen colour: Numerous vibrant colours from which to choose
• Nib material: Stainless steel

Aesthetics

Each variant of the Original Jotter series comes in a glossy finish, reminiscent of the gleaming, boldly-coloured, old Parker Jotter series from the 90's. The pen features a very streamlined, stainless steel body which suggests it is more lavish then it's price tag indicates. 

Between the eye catching colours, the classic Parker Arrow clip and it's feather shaped nib, this pen really does draw attention. Parker have done a great job at capturing the 90's Jotter's aesthetics whilst making subtle additions (such as the Parker engraving on the barrel) to add abit of elegance to the design.

There is one very miniscule drawback for this fountain pen: the word "Parker" which is engraved around the cap edge is not only barely noticeable but is also crooked. Admittedly, it would take someone with a great eye for detail to notice this mishap but a global brand such as Parker shouldn't be making these mistakes regardless of how budget the Parker Originals Jotter series is.

Construction/Quality 

Despite Parker been renown for their durability over the years, with their longevity being one of the key reasons why they're as successful as they are, the Parker Originals Jotter does not feel well constructed at all. The most noticeable flaw is the nib and the collar do not feel well connected at all; I wouldn't be surprised if a small drop would deconstruct the whole pen.

Other flaws include: the cap being ridiculously loose (loose enough to fall off in your pocket without any prompt), the clip being sharp enough to cut yourself on and the "scratch resistant barrel" picking up a lot of scratches. Rarely do you see such bad quality construction from Parker but they really have dropped the ball on this model.

Ergonomics

Weighing in at just 16 grams this pen could be the lightest fountain pen that Parker produce. The weight of a fountain pen usually comes down to personal preference, however writing comfortably with a pen this light is certainly going to require an adjustment period.

The reason why the Parker Originals Jotter is so light is due to how narrow it is. Anyone with large hands is unquestionably going to experience discomfort when writing with this pen for longer periods of time due to the grip section being as thin as a chopstick. On the flip side, this pen could be a perfect fit for a child wanting their first fountain pen or an adult with smaller hands.

Writing Performance 

The writing experience that comes with a Parker pen is one of the main reasons why they're such a prominent force in the fountain pen world. However, the Parker Originals Jotter does not meet the standards that Parker have set over the years. 

The unusually wide nib means smaller writing normally comes out less accurate then one would like. Furthermore, the ink cartridges included are far from wet and smooth, in fact they're rough and dry. To pile onto the troubles, the pen is a frequent hard-starter and skips when writing for extended periods. The one strength of this pen's writing performance is the nib has literally no spring, which is rare for such a cheap fountain pen.

Maintenance

As for maintenance, this pen requires very little maintenance unlike other budget fountain pens. The metal end cap is easy to clean and a quick google search is all that is needed if you would need to replace it. If there was any need to adjust the barrel or nib the Jotter is easy enough to dismantle and piece back together. One area that may potentially need maintenance is the barrel. The barrel is said to be "scratch resistant" but in reality its a scratch magnet, this may need replacing if the scratches start to affect the aesthetic of the pen.

The ink cartridges add to the low maintenance, due to them being so easy to find at most stationery shops within the UK. This pen also benefits from being compatible with a Parker converter meaning you can use other ink cartridges with the pen, as long as you have the readily available converter.

Value for Money & Conclusion

Similar to the Parker Vector series, one of the unique selling points of the Parker Jotter Originals is how affordable they are. Even if you bought the Jotter with a converter and ink, it would still be one of the most affordable fountain pens on the market. Priced at only £9.99 it is one of the cheapest fountain pens on the market. However, do note that this is far from a premium fountain pen.

For £9.99, you are getting an eye catching, poorly constructed, average writer fountain pen, alongside the most premium branding in the pen world. If you want a high performing budget fountain pen, it'd be advisable to pursue other options; however if you want Parker's branding and a stunning aesthetic at a low price then maybe this is the pen for you

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